"Suzhou is a Sanctuary" Suzhou by arianne_1504

Suzhou Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 36 photos

City of Gardens

Suzhou is a city on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the shores of Lake Taihu in the province of Jiangsu, China. The city is renowned for its beautiful stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens, which has become a great tourist attraction. Suzhou has also been an important center for China's silk industry since the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and continues to hold that prominent position today.

Classical gardens in Suzhou were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000.

I had fun shopping here and just browsing the streets, it was a gorgeous place and I would love to come back and spend more time here.

I visited a few of the gardens, viewed an evening performance of the Master of the Nets Ceremony and toured the Silk museum. I thought Suzhou was just gorgeous.

North Temple Pagoda

The North Temple Pagoda has a history of more than 1,700 years. It is praised as the “ Number One Pagoda in South of the Yangtse River ” . Standing far apart facing the Tiger Hill Pagoda, the North Temple Pagoda is also a famous old pagoda and an important symbol of Suzhou .

The North Temple Pagoda has a long history. It was originally an eleven-storeyed pagoda built by Zhanghui, a monk in the Liang Dynasty. Then it was destroyed by the flames of war and the base of the North Temple Pagoda today was built by Dayuan, a monk in the Southern Song Dynasty.

The North Temple Pagoda is a brick and wooden Buddhist pagoda of the style of building and has nine storeys with eight sides each. With the height of 76 meters, it is the highest of the pagodas in Suzhou . It is famous for double eaves and flying corners and is a building in the same type as the Liuhe Pagoda in Hangzhou . The base of the pagoda covers 1.3 mu (= 0.0667 hectares), whose eaves are extraordinarily long. Its body consists of the outer corridors, the inner corridors and the square rooms in the center. Visitors can walk up along the wooden stairs in the internal corridors and by leaning on the railings look down at the panorama of the city as well as look at hills, waters, and rural scenery of Suzhou in the distance.

The Humble Administrator's Garden

The Humble Administrator's Garden , located at 178 Dongbei Street, Suzhou, is one of four great Chinese gardens. At 51,950 m² it is the largest garden in Suzhou, and generally considered the finest garden in southern China.

The garden's site was earlier a scholar garden during the Tang Dynasty, then a monastery garden for Dahong Temple during the Yuan Dynasty. In 1513, during the Ming Dynasty reign of Emperor Zhengde, an administrator named Wang Xianchen appropriated the temple and converted it into a private villa with gardens, which were constructed by digging lakes and piling the resultant earth into artificial islands. The garden was designed in collaboration with the renowned Ming artist Wen Zhengming, and was as large as today's garden, with numerous trees and pavilions. The Wang family sold the garden several years later, and it has changed hands many times since.

The garden was split up in the later Ming dynasty, and it remained neglected until the Qing Dynasty reigns of Emperors Shunzhi and Kangxi, when the garden was extensively rebuilt with major modifications to its earlier plan. During Emperor Qianlong's reign the gardens were again divided into the Shu Yuan (Book of Study Garden) and the Fu Yuan (Restored Garden).

Zhuozheng is considered one of the finest gardens in China.Today's garden is only very loosely related to its earliest version, but closely resembles its late Qing appearance, with numerous pavilions and bridges set among maze of connected pools and islands. It consists of three major parts set about a large lake: the central part (Zhuozheng Yuan), the eastern part (once called Guitianyuanju, Dwelling Upon Return to the Countryside), and a western part (the Supplementary Garden). The house lies in the south of the garden.

In total, the garden contains 48 different buildings with 101 tablets; 40 stelae; 21 precious old trees; and over 700 Suzhou-style bonsai.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:stunning gardens
  • Cons:smell of the canals
  • Last visit to Suzhou: Jun 2002
  • Intro Written Jun 23, 2007
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arianne_1504

“Travelling makes you realise how lucky you are.”

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